Summary: I want us to put ourselves in the sandals of the disciples. For some that will be easy because despair is not foreign to you. Bur for others, that may be more difficult because . . . (PowerPoints available - #174
MELVIN NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
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A. The disciples must have been devastated. They had been attracted by His charisma. They had been inspired by His teachings. And they had decided to follow Him. It had not been an easy road, but they had willingly left families, homes, & jobs to follow Jesus.
As they walked with Him they had seen amazing things. They had seen Him multiply a few loaves & fishes & feed the multitudes. They saw Him walk on water, & calm an angry storm.
They saw Him straighten crooked limbs & give sight to the blind. He even raised the dead back to life again. Truly, He was the Messiah that God had promised would come!
And last Sunday, when He entered Jerusalem, seemed to be a perfect climax to it all. To be in that crowded parade; to listen to their jubilant “Hosannas” & watch as they waved palm branches & threw flowers before Him. Everything confirmed that they had followed the right man.
B. But now He is dead. How could they have been so wrong? What would they do now?
What do you do when your heart is filled with despair? What do you do when your world falls apart?
I want us to put ourselves in the sandals of the disciples. For some that will be easy because despair is not foreign to you. For others, that may be more difficult because all the pieces seem to be in place for you, & the road is pretty smooth, at least for right now.
PROP. What did happen? And what lessons can we apply to our lives today? Our scripture text this morning is Matthew 27:57-66.
I. THE SCENE AT THE TOMB
A. To begin with, the Bible tells us that Joseph of Arimathea buried Jesus.
Listen to vs’s 57-58. “As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.
“Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him.”
What do we know about this man? We don’t know much, but we do know some things about him.
1. First of all, he was from Arimathea, a small town about 20 miles from Jerusalem. As towns go, Arimathea wasn’t very important, but Joseph himself evidently was.
In fact, Mark 15:43 tells us he was “…a prominent member of the Council…” (That’s the Sanhedrin, the supreme judicial authority of Israel who had illegally condemned Jesus to death).
But Luke 23:51 says that he was “…a good & upright man, who had not consented to their decision & action.”
2. Secondly, Matthew tells us that he was rich. I don’t know about you, but sometimes we act as if we think that Jesus came to minister only to those who are poor & down & out.
But Jesus Himself said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32) He came to minister not just to the poor but to the rich, also.
3. Thirdly, Joseph had an acquaintance named Nicodemus who helped him bury Jesus. Listen to John 19:39, “He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh & aloes, about 75 pounds.”